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Africa

According to the Queensland University of Technology's Prof. James Dale, 650,000 to 700,000 children die worldwide every year due to pro-vitamin A deficiency. Many of those children live in East African nations such as Uganda. Dale's proposed solution? Take something that's already grown and eaten there, and genetically modify it to produce the needed vitamin. That's what he's done with the Highland cooking banana. The resulting "super bananas" are about to be the subject of human nutritional trials in the US. Read More
Nine mobile network operators across 48 countries in Africa and the Middle East have joined forces on the GSM Association’s Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) program. The program aims to develop standards and implement convenient and affordable financial services across the regions, where many citizens have limited access to traditional banking services. Read More
Mathare is 500,000-resident slum in Nairobi Kenya, where basic sanitation is non-existent, there’s no adequate water supply and no school system, except for so-called street schools that try to fill that gap. Only 10 percent of local youth will reach college education. Most of the locals are part of the five billion people in the world who are digitally excluded. Now, a new UK-based initiative called Keepod Unite aims to reduce the digital gap in Mathare by providing an OS that can be loaded onto a USB drive and plugged into just about any shared PC. Read More
While 3D printing technology has emerged to serve a wide variety of purposes, few appear more worthwhile than that of US-based company Not Impossible Labs. Through its Daniel Project, the company has not only provided 3D-printed prosthetic arms for amputees in war-torn Sudan, but empowered the local community to continue the initiative in its absence. Read More
The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space. Read More
Design and urbanism practice NLÉ, led by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, is building a new multilevel school in Makoko – a region of Nigeria's most populous city, Lagos. While that doesn't sound too unusual, the difference here is that in an effort to address the issues of land scarcity and poor waste management that affect the flood-prone area, this school is being built on floating platforms. Read More
The Kenyan government intends to spend a reported US$14.5 billion on the creation of Konza Technology City or "Silicon Savanna," which Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki hopes will become Africa's answer to Silicon Valley. Recently underway, the ambitious venture will see the construction of a brand new city on 20 sq km (7.7 sq miles) of what is currently natural savanna, 70 km (43 miles) southeast of Nairobi. Read More
While promising vaccines and genetically-engineered mosquitoes are providing hope in the fight against malaria, it currently remains a major and potentially life-threatening problem in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. These regions are also hot and sticky, making LG's introduction of an air conditioner that it claims actively repels mosquitoes as it keeps the house cool a seemingly obvious blending of technologies. Read More
A collaboration between Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority will see the streets of capital city Nairobi being lit up with solar-powered LED lighting. The pilot project is the first of its kind in East Africa and and was launched during the 40th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is headquartered in that city. Read More
While much of the developed world has grown used to high-speed internet access, the majority of the African continent remains without reliable and affordable internet, placing modern communication staples like email firmly out of reach to most. However, Google has recently announced Gmail SMS, a new service available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, which brings Gmail to all cellphones capable of sending SMS text messages - no data connection required. Read More
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